Presence of NDP members continues to mar national dialogue

Disagreements continued at Egypt's National Dialogue Conference as it entered its third day on Tuesday, with many attendees continuing their objections to the presence of former members of the dissolved National Democratic Party (NDP).

The conference is a national event, with meetings held in each governorate through May, aiming to bring various parties and movements together to discuss issues relating to Egypt's transition to full democracy. However, the involvement of former NDP members has been the cause of some controversy since the conference began in Cairo on Sunday.

In the Daqahlia Governorate on Tuesday, members from the 25 January Revolution Youth Coalition exchanged accusations with officials in charge of the conference.

The coalition issued a statement saying that it would boycott future sessions, claiming that former members of President Hosni Mubarak's regime are participating with the support of Governor Mohsen Hefzy. It also accused Hefzy and the former NDP members of killing protesters during the 25 January revolution.

Hefzy, meanwhile, said he had invited all political powers to the dialogue, and that the decision on whether or not to attend was a matter of personal choice. He also denied accusations that he was involved in killing protesters.

In Suez, similar arguments erupted, and the secretary generals for the Wasat and Tagammu parties, as well as other members, stormed out of the meeting in fury.

In Port Said, the representives of political forces said they had received neither official nor unofficial invitations to the dialogue.

Ahmed Qazamel, head of Port Said's Lawyers Syndicate, said his syndicate and the Doctors Syndicate are preparing for a dialogue for all political powers that will exclude members from the former regime.

Mohamed Ehab, secretary for the Ghad Party, said his party is already holding a dialogue with all political powers to determine how the revolution should continue from this point.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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